Decision-making in a Community Redevelopment Agency

By Casey Barr As discussed in a previous blog post, Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) are a form of special district government that funds local redevelopment projects with taxpayer subsidies. But how are spending and organizational decisions made in a CRA? (Source: City of Tallahassee. Available at: https://www.talgov.com/cra/CRAHome.aspx) CRAs can only be established when two governmental units, such … Continue reading Decision-making in a Community Redevelopment Agency

Special District Spending Priorities and Political Entrepreneurship

By Matt Kelly and Tyler Worthington Special districts are small local governments created by state statute or local ordinance to fulfill a particular purpose in a specified geographic area. Some special districts control the mosquito population in an area, while others are in charge of things like fire protection, library administration, or utility services. Unlike … Continue reading Special District Spending Priorities and Political Entrepreneurship

Special Districts in Florida

By: Matt Kelly and Tyler Worthington Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neil once said, “all politics is local,” meaning that politicians must appeal to local constituents to succeed. Yet political economy is arguably most opaque and complex at local levels. Local governments have grown as numerous as they are multifaceted. Over … Continue reading Special Districts in Florida

Florida Facing the Wrong Direction on Immigration Reform

By Selene Capparelli The US immigration system has been badly broken for many decades.  Mass deportation, enhanced border security, and keeping undocumented workers in perpetual illegal status have been proven to be very costly and ineffective methods to handle the constant influx of new immigrants.These policies result in hundreds of border-crossing deaths each year, abject … Continue reading Florida Facing the Wrong Direction on Immigration Reform

Tourism tax may soon be used for public services

  By Erick Winterkamp Officials in Okaloosa County recently diverted $2.5 million of Tourism Development Tax (TDT) revenues to pay for beach patrol and lifeguards, a move that Florida’s powerful tourism lobby contested. Tourism industry interest groups like the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association claimed this was … Continue reading Tourism tax may soon be used for public services

Top  2% of state employees see faster rise in income than bottom 98% since the Great Recession

By: Igor Lukashevich In 2014, the world was abuzz with talk of Thomas Piketty’s treatise on global economic inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The rising global disparity of income, the author argued, will inevitably result in social and economic instability across the world. It is interesting to note that income inequality also exists, and … Continue reading Top  2% of state employees see faster rise in income than bottom 98% since the Great Recession

The Top 10 Highest Earning Counties in Florida

By: Igor Lukashevich and Nadia James The top six Florida counties for revenue intake per capita are as follows: Duval, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Franklin, Charlotte, and Collier. Total revenues for counties follow very closely with total expenditures, as the same six counties also topped the list for expenditures per capita. This relationship makes sense because the … Continue reading The Top 10 Highest Earning Counties in Florida

Florida’s Frugal Government

By Randall G. Holcombe, Ph.D. Living in Tallahassee, I often hear people complain about Florida’s frugal state government.  It is true that Florida is among the most frugal states. According to this article Florida is second from the bottom among states in per capita state government expenditures, and this article says Florida is also second … Continue reading Florida’s Frugal Government

Duval county tops spending per person, followed by some of Florida’s smallest counties

By: Nick Hyder, Tian Ma, Igor Lukashevich, and Nadia James Out of the 67 counties in the state of Florida, Duval County spends the most per capita. Duval County is home to Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville, which has a population over twice as large as Miami, Florida’s second most populous city. In 2014, Duval … Continue reading Duval county tops spending per person, followed by some of Florida’s smallest counties

Florida’s Tourism Development Tax

By Erick Winterkamp   Policymakers experience conflicting pressure concerning taxation. Corporations want taxation on competing products and industries, government officials often need more taxation to cover rising expenses, and the public would rather taxes be levied on anyone but themselves. Balancing these opposing factors, along with elected officials’ desire for reelection, results in a myriad … Continue reading Florida’s Tourism Development Tax